Should treatment start if I am moving away?

Probably not, changing orthodontists is best avoided if possible as orthodontists work in different ways with different appliances and a transfer will almost inevitably mean a setback in the progress of your treatment. Nevertheless there are times when a transfer cannot be avoided and your orthodontist should be able to find someone to take over your treatment at your new location. The NHS makes full provision for a transfer of treatment between orthodontists.

It is undoubtedly preferable not to start treatment with one orthodontist and then to move on to another orthodontist in a different location. If you know you are about to move it is better to wait until you have arrived at your new location. Most orthodontists would strongly prefer to treat a case all the way through and not have to step in part way through.

Recent research shows that treatment takes an average of six months longer in transfer cases. Patients who are moving to another location, should give the orthodontist as much notice as possible and ask him or her to find an orthodontist at the new location. Ask for a referral to the new orthodontist with a history of the treatment so far. Ask for the study models and x-rays to be sent on or to be given to you to take with you to the new orthodontist.

The BOS provides a transfer form on the BOS website for members to use. In addition you can use the 'Find treatment' section on this site to help find a new orthodontist.

Under the new NHS contract, since 1st April 2006 there has been no official obstacle to changing orthodontists. Orthodontists with NHS contracts can accept an NHS patient who has moved from another part of the country (or from overseas) and who is already under orthodontic treatment. The patient will count as a new NHS case start and brings the full credit for a new start, as long as the patient is over 10 years and under 18 years of age when first seen by the new orthodontist. If you started NHS orthodontic treatment under 18 years of age but have become over 18 by the time you moved, you may still be permitted to contine with NHS treatment but your new orthodontist will need to get permission from the Primary Care Trust or Local Health Board.